EECS 395, 495: Special Topics in Game AI (Social and Affective Modeling)

Quarter Offered

Spring : MWF 4-4:50 ; Horswill


Permission of Instructor


This course is a research seminar on the modeling of affect and social interaction for game characters (i.e. it is not a lecture course). Procedurally, it will be a combination paper-reading seminar and game jam. We will read papers from the relevant literatures on affective and social modeling, and build experimental games based on character simulations, using a specially modded version of a commercial game.

Registration is open to both undergraduates and graduate students. However, registration is by permission only. CS students should have a background that involves some prior course covering reasoning systems (EECS-348, 325, 344, 372 or the KR for Game Characters course). Students from outside of CS should have a basic background in programming as well as knowledge of a relevant field of social science or neuroscience. Non-CS students will be paired with CS students for game development.

Grading will be based on game projects, paper and game presentations, and general class participation.

Topics will be selected based on the interests and backgrounds of the participants. However, interesting possible topics would include:

  • Logic programming
  • Basics of game design (MDA, etc.)
  • Utility-based action selection (e.g. The Sims)
  • Reactive planning: preconditions, postconditions, and subgoaling
  • Dimensional theories of affect
  • Appraisal theory
  • EMA
  • Affective neuroscience
  • Prom Week, Comme Il Faut, and the Ensemble Engine
  • Interactive fiction architectures: Inform 7 and Versu
  • Dimensional theories of personality (big 2, big 5)
  • Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory
  • Gender identity
  • Promotion vs. prevention focus
  • Self-regulation and self-regulatory strength
  • Dynamics of addiction
  • Psychological literature on interpersonal relations (TBD)
  • Transactional analysis, Berne's theory of mind games, and its impact on Game AI research
  • Burke, Goffman, and Dramaturgical analysis
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Bullying (TBD)
  • Theory of authoritarian personality
  • Social psychology of race
  • This course satisfies the AI Breadth & Technical Elective requirements.